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New book publication: The Golden Age

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Dance Books has announced publication of Gerald Dowler's 'The Golden Age, Ballet in Soviet Russia 1917 - 1991', a 392 page hardback book including 64 pages of black-and-white illustrations. 

However difficult the Soviet era was for the peoples of Russia, its seventy-four years represented a true golden age for classical ballet. It was characterised by a wholescale repurposing of the art form from being the ‘golden rattle’ of the tsars to the most potent cultural weapon in the Communist regime’s armoury in its struggles with the West.

'The Golden Age' presents a detailed overview of the development of ballet in Soviet Russia, from its fight for survival in the early years after the 1917 revolutions through the political demands of Stalin’s rule, the shock of armed conflict with Germany and the onset of the Cold War. As the century progressed, Soviet ballet was not immune to outside influences hastened by the onset of cultural visits and exchanges; it also suffered the defection of dancers and ultimately opened up further with perestroika in the 1980s and the fall of Communist rule in 1991.

Gerald Dowler sets the complex, shifting world of Russian ballet in its political and social contexts and explores the contributions of major choreographers, dancers and teachers in creating the phenomenon of what is celebrated around the world as 'Russian Ballet’.

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